As the summer sun warms the city, Berlin offers up some great outdoor entertainment. From the early morning sun on the river to the last light at sunset, Berlin in summer offers something for everyone.

Have a drink at a Biergarten

Germany is known for its beer and Berlin is known for its beer gardens, which are popular for a very good reason. They are a great place to enjoy the warm weather with a cold beer. The best known beer garden to those visiting from outside the city is Cafe am Neuen See in Tiergarten, that does mean it can be busy there.

If you are looking for a more local experience, you will have to get off the beaten track. A fifteen minute walk from Potsdamer Platz will bring you to BRLO Brwhouse, the self-proclaimed home of the Berlin craft beer movement. Across town, on Schönhauser Allee, you can visit the historical Schankhalle Pfefferberg, where master brewer Thorsten Schoppe brews beers the traditional way.

Cruise on the river

Why not start your hot summer’s day with a relaxing cruise on the river Spree? It’s one of the perfect ways to combine sightseeing with relaxing in the sun, just like with the Hop-on Hop-off bus. On the water you can see Berlin from a different perspective during this hour long cruise with Wassertaxi.

During the cruise you can sit back and relax with a drink in your hand while you sail by iconic sights such as Museum Island, with its many museums, the Berliner Dom, and the Reichstag Building. The cruise usually has a local guide on board to tell you all about what your are seeing on the shore. Just be sure to put on plenty of sunscreen lotion!

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City Sightseeing bus + Historical City Cruise
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City Sightseeing bus + Historical City Cruise

Go swimming

Did you know you can go swimming in the river Spree? Well, sort of, the Badeschiff in Kreuzberg is a shipping container that has been placed inside the river and it is one of the most unique swimming pools in all of Germany. Better not to jump in the actual river, it is a bit too polluted to be safe for swimming.

For a more traditional swim, head to Strandbad Wannsee in Zehlendorf, Europe’s largest outdoor swimming area on an inland body of water. For over 100 years Berliners have been coming here to enjoy the beach chairs, water slide, play beach volleyball and football. The bright sand comes from the Baltic and there is plenty of room for everyone.

Catch the sunset on a rooftop terrace

Watching the sun setting after a hot day of sightseeing in Berlin is both majestic and satisfying. The best places to watch the sun set are from high above the city streets. The TV Tower at Alexanderplatz is a great place to watch the sun go down. At 203 metres above the ground, you can enjoy panoramic views across the city.

Other options for spectacular sunsets are the city’s rooftop terraces and there are plenty to choose from. Such as the Grace Rooftop bar at Hotel Zoo on Kurfürstendamm (Kudamm), the Monkey Bar right by Berlin Zoo, or the Klunkerkranich on top of the Neukölln Arcaden shopping centre. Or if you want something a bit more casual for sunset, go to the city’s highest beach bar at Deck5 on the roof of Schönhauser Allee Arcaden.

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Berlin TV Tower
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Berlin TV Tower

Cool down at the Icebar

If a beer or a swim aren’t enough to cool you down in summer, head to the Berlin Icebar. As the bar is kept at a constant -10°C, you’ll be glad for the parka and gloves to protect you from the ice in the coolest bar in town. This is a bar unlike any other, as the moment you step through the door you join the crew of the Hansa, a 19th century Arctic exploration ship that had quite the adventure.

In the actual icebar everything is made from ice, from the bar itself to the glasses you drink your included drinks from and even the art. 40,000 kilo of ice have been turned into polar bears, shipwrecks and even King Wilhelm I and the original crew! Here you’ll have no problem imagining yourself shipwrecked on an ice floe in the Arctic.

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Berlin Icebar Polar Expedition
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Berlin Icebar Polar Expedition

Watch a movie in the open-air

There is nothing quite like watching a movie under the stars on a warm summer night and Berlin has plenty of options to enjoy this phenomenon. You’ll find the Freiluftkino’s spread across the German capital in parks, on top of old warehouses, and in historic courtyards.

From the middle of spring to the end of summer, you can find a varied programme in the open-air cinemas in Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg, and Rehberge. Some will air the typical German dubbed films, while others play the original English versions of films. Drinks and snacks can often be bought on site, just be sure to arrive on time to secure a comfy deckchair.